What’s Cookin’ – Hot Cross Buns (for Good Friday) & Deviled Chick Eggs (for Easter)

There will only be three of us home for Easter this year - DSH, My Baby the Bulldog, and me.  Sigh.

But, after nine days away from home I have been having fun being back in the kitchen and cookin’ this week.

I will be having a scaled down Easter Dinner of Pork Roast, mashed potatoes, peas, rolls, and probably an apple pie.  My Baby the Bulldog LOVES apple pie.

I also made some Hot Cross Buns and some really adorable Deviled Chick Eggs.

One of my Hot Cross Buns.

Hot Cross Buns are traditionally made and eaten on Good Friday.  Like most Christian rituals and traditions, this one originated from Pagan customs.  It is said that buns marked with a cross were eaten by Saxons in honor of the goddess Eostre (possible the origin of the word Easter).  The Greeks also made cakes marked with a cross prior to Christianity.  English monarchs tried to ban Hot Cross Buns after the Church of England’s break with the Catholic Church, but their popularity led to a law being enacted allowing them to be made and sold only at Easter time.

Hot Cross Buns are sweet rolls that are made with spices and raisins.  I like the recipe in my Joy of Cooking cookbook because they use milk bread dough to make them.  Milk bread dough makes a tender and sweet roll and is also good to use to make cinnamon rolls. If you are afraid to make yeast breads, making something with a milk bread dough is a good place to start because they require very little or no kneading.  All you need is a little time to allow the yeast to do its magic.

Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman) uses milk bread dough to make her mother’s famous cinnamon rolls.  She also has a nice Hot Cross Buns recipe.

I make my Hot Cross Buns using cinnamon and cardamom and golden raisins, and they are yummy.

The other recipe that I made for Easter weekend was one for Deviled Chick Eggs.  I am not into making cutesy food, but these were adorable, and I couldn’t resist.  My Baby the Bearcat sent me some links from Pinterest for Chick Eggs.

Deviled Chick Eggs

Now if you Google Deviled Eggs that look like chicks, you will see tons of recipes, and they are all cute.  Some use pimento stuffed olives to make chicks that look like they are wearing spectacles, some use raisins (in egg yolks I think that sounds yucky) for the eyes, and others add various other components.  I liked the ones I made because they were simple, and they still tasted like deviled eggs when eaten (which is the goal after all).

Like I said before, I am not into making cutesy food, but the Fudge Striped Shortbread Turkey Cookies that I posted last November were my number one day for hits.  I made them because my mother-in-law used to make them, and I wanted to continue the tradition.  I couldn’t resist making these cute Deviled Egg Chicks for Easter, and maybe they will become a new tradition that I started.

For the record, I am not that crafty or creative, so I give a lot of credit to the people who come up with great food ideas.  I wanted to find the original post for the Deviled Chick Eggs, but the only link we could find for these was on the Saucy Mommy blog here.  She includes a nice step-by-step, too.

You need to start by making hard-cooked eggs.  Here are a few tips when making hard-cooked eggs.  First of all, start with stale eggs.  They are easier to peel.  Never boil your eggs.  Rather, you need to submerge them into simmering water and allow to simmer from 12 to 15 minutes depending on the size (I used large eggs, and they take 14 minutes).  If you do this, your yolks will be tender and yellow not tough and greenish around the edges.  Submerge in cold water after the allotted time and allow to cool completely in the refrigerator prior to peeling.  I always crack the shells on the side of the sink and peel under a slow stream of water.  And, I always make more than I need because I always end up with a few that don’t look as pretty as I want them to look.  You can always make some egg salad with the rejects.

Here is my step-by-step for these Deviled Chick Eggs.

After cooking, cooling, and peeling – cut a small sliver off the bottom of the larger end of the egg so that they will sit upright.

Cut off about a third of the top and carefully remove the egg yolks into a bowl.  Prepare the egg yolk filling.  I kept it simple and added mayonnaise, salt, and Tabasco sauce (that’s what make them deviled).

You will notice that I made little jagged cuts in the larger section to make it look like a freshly cracked egg.  I got that idea from another chick egg recipe that I saw.  Carefully add the yolk mixture to the cavity of  the large egg piece and top with the “cap” at an angle.

Add the beaks made from pieces of carrots cut into triangles and the eyes made from small pieces of black olives.  (I saw some eyes made with capers which is a great idea for perfectly round eyes).  I liked the simple look of these which are just cute enough.

I love making food for my family and friends, and I know a lot of people will be attending family get togethers for Easter.  I hope that my recipes this week give you some ideas to share with your loved ones.

Happy Easter!

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